our history | decades young
The Diamond Custom Homes brand was introduced in 2010. Yet our history here goes back more than 25 years, crafting homes for the best-known communities on the West Coast, from Marco Island to Sarasota. Michael Diamond, our founder, maintains enduring relationships with top architects, designers and subcontractors. Jeffrey Benham is a long-time colleague from the homebuilding industry as former CFO.
Diamond Custom Homes, continues to complete luxury residences and remodels in the Southwest Florida market, while continuing to increase the size of our team and broaden our geographic footprint. In brief, we’re ready to build with you.
our team | team works
Building together is what we do. It takes willing collaboration, mutual understanding, professional skill, profound experience and complete dedication to achieve the optimal results for our clients. All of us share a common belief in open, candid communication with the people we build for and with each other. That transparency has a tangible benefit to every project and every relationship we’ve established.
Our founder, Michael Diamond has 20-plus years in the home building industry. He holds both Florida Contractor and Florida Real Estate Broker licenses as well as a B.A. from Colgate University. To ensure the highest quality outcomes for every client, he personally maintains strong connections to top architects, designers and subcontractors. At home, Mike spends his private time with his wife Nina and their three children.
Jeffrey BenhamVice President
Jeffrey Benham is co-owner of Diamond Custom Homes as well as its head of financial operations. With over 10 years of experience in the luxury custom home market, Jeff holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts and a Florida Real Estate License. Formerly, he served as both a CFO and senior financial advisor to several prominent companies and met Mike while working as the director of sales and as a former CFO for another luxury home builder. When he’s not focused on Diamond’s trade partners, clients and project objectives, Jeff spends time with his wife and daughter.
Rob MarinoDirector of Construction
A Boston-area native, Marino is a seasoned professional with more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry. As Director of Construction, Marino is responsible for all of Diamond Custom Homes’ construction operations. In his over 20 years in Southwest Florida, he has spent 15 in construction management for a local builder and the last 3 with Diamond Custom Homes overseeing construction activity in Quail West.
George CavadaProject Manager
Originally from Miami, George earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Miami-Dade Community College. He began his career in the construction and real estate industries nearly 20 years ago and moved to Southwest Florida more than 10 years ago. Most recently, he held positions as a purchasing agent and a purchasing manager in the homebuilding industry.
Pete MitchellJob Superintendent
With over 35 years of experience, Pete Mitchell brings a strong attention to detail and work ethic to the Diamond Custom Homes team. In his role as Job Superintendent, Pete is involved in various aspects of an estate’s build, from the planning and coordination to seeing the project through to its completion. Previously, he served as a Job Superintendent for Landmark Development Group. Having worked closely with Michael Diamond and Rob Marino on past projects, Pete was excited for the opportunity to work fulltime with Diamond Custom Homes. He attended Portland State University and is a United States Army veteran. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his three children.
George VlahosJob Superintendent
George Vlahos brings 17 years of experience to the Diamond Custom Homes team. As Field Superintendent, his responsibilities include coordinating and planning new projects and then ensuring those projects are carried out and supervised to the highest standard. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Design, George has held various positions in the construction trade over the years. He is dedicated to building homes of the upmost quality, which is exactly what led him to Diamond Custom Homes. In his free time, George enjoys being with his family.
Deborah MaxnerSelections Coordinator
A New Hampshire native, Deborah earned an interior design certification from the University of New Hampshire, and a real estate sales associate license from the State of Florida. Involved in the construction and interior design industries for 30 years, she was the owner of Interior Reflections, a business that sold custom window treatments, upholstered furniture and interior accessories for residential clients.
Karen Velasco-CarterArchitectural Coordinator
As Architectural Coordinator, Karen Velesco-Carter plays a vital role in the Diamond Custom Homes process, working closely with clients to articulate their ideas. She is responsible for the coordination between architectural DWGS and the interior design DWGS for all new construction, as well as the permitting of DWGS for remodels. Karen has been in the industry for 15 years, with her previous experience as an architectural designer for two prominent design studios. She holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from San Buenaventura University, is an AIA associate and a certified general contractor. In her free time, Karen enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, tennis and dancing.
Zachary S. MongerSales Associate
Monger is responsible for on-site sales of Diamond’s new estate home construction projects and land acquisitions for new builds in Naples and Bonita Springs. Prior to joining Diamond, Monger spent two years in developer resources with a local real estate brokerage focusing upon creating joint ventures with landowners in Quail West Golf & Country Club community and in Exuma, a district in the Bahamas. Originally from Lancaster County, PA, Monger received a bachelor’s of arts degree in business marketing from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. While attending college, he earned his real estate associate’s license and worked with Keller William Realty and Berkshire Hathaway before relocating to Naples in 2015.
Chris SchneiderJob Superintendent
Chris Schneider brings 23 years of construction industry experience to Diamond. As job superintendent, he is responsible for on-site coordination for all phases of building projects, and coordinating all subcontractors, materials and equipment. Chris ensures specifications are strictly followed, and work is proceeding on schedule and within budget. He is DOT (Department of Transportation) and OSHA safety certified. A third generation construction industry veteran, Chris began his homebuilding career in Cleveland as a carpenter focusing on remodeling homes. In 2000, he relocated to Southwest Florida and built homes for actress Sharon Stone and AC/DC singer Cliff Williams. Today, Chris and his family live in Estero.
Tim ScarsellaProject Manager
Construction veteran Tim Scarsella is a licensed general contractor in the state of Florida with 30 years home building experience, starting as a field manager and working his way up to project management. He has established award-winning entry level and estate series custom home product lines. Previously, Tim was a superintendent with D. R. Horton and spent 14 years with Centex Homes. He attended Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio, majoring in criminal justice before relocating to Bonita Springs, Florida where he volunteers for Wounded Warriors of America and Habitat for Humanity.
Mike SwansonPurchasing Manager
Mike Swanson has spent his 20+-year career in the luxury homebuilding industry purchasing and estimating goods and services while managing vendors and suppliers. He creates the best methods for day-to-day purchasing operations to ensure every project milestone is met with detailed plan tracking and cost analysis to identify demand and minimize costs. Before joining Diamond, Mike built and headed the Purchasing and/or Estimating Departments for a variety of custom homebuilders and construction firms in Southwest Florida. He is a graduate of Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan with a bachelor of science in construction technology.
testimonials | client appreciation
"During the building process we hired an inspector to review the workmanship on a monthly basis and there was never an issue with any of the inspections. We moved into our home in August 2014 and have been enjoying the beautiful workmanship. If we had to start over again, we would go right back to Diamond Custom Homes. It was a pleasure working with them."− BILL AND JAN
"Diamond Custom Homes built our dream home in Quail West. We interviewed several builders and decided to go with DCH based on their stellar track record throughout Naples building beautiful homes. We are ecstatic with the result. Also, Mike Diamond's support team was great during construction as well as after we moved in making sure every detail was attended to in a timely and professional manner. All in all, we have nothing but accolades to share about our Diamond Custom Home."− LES AND JUNE
"It is with great pleasure that my wife Laura and I recommend Diamond Custom Homes as a builder for your future home. Starting with Mike Diamond and with the help of his entire staff — the difficult process of of designing and building a custom home was made significantly easier. The Diamond team showed a high level of professionalism and a particular attention to detail. They chose and managed sub-contractors extremely well. Their on-site management team was present everyday, overseeing and ensuring that every job was done with care and precision. When problems or issues arose during and after construction the staff and particularly the onsite manager was quick to respond and all issues were resolved to our satisfaction without hesitation. An overall masterful job — well done!"− HOWARD AND LAURA
"Diamond Custom Homes has uncompromising integrity. The Diamond team was very professional, very easy to communicate with, and very attentive to details and value. Steve was our on-sight supervisor and he kept an eye on even the tiniest details and made sure they were perfect. George let me know what was going to happen when and kept us on track as far as making design choices. He was delightful to work with. And throughout the process, Mike stayed involved, ensuring our satisfaction through every phase, including after we moved in.
We have been in our home a year now, and love it. Not only do we have a beautiful, well constructed and designed home (close to budget), but Diamond Custom Homes made it a pleasure getting here."− Joe and Cynthia
accolades | we’re honored
We are always most proud of the appreciation we receive from the clients whose luxury custom homes we build and remodel. On occasion, that hard work is also recognized for exceptional quality and superior construction with awards from distinguished organizations. In 2015, we earned the coveted front cover of Home & Design with a feature story inside that highlighted our Capistrano model, itself an award-winning home.
Best Use of Custom Wood (Under $30,000), Basseterre Model Home
Best Master Suite ($50,000-$100,000), Basseterre Model Home
Best Kitchen Design ($200,001-$250,000), Basseterre Model Home
Product Design of the Year – Single Family Homes ($2,000,001 – $2,250,000), Custom Home
Product Design of the Year – Single Family Homes ($3,500,001 – $4,000,000), Magnolia Model Home
Best Smart Home ($2,000,001 – $2,250,000), Custom Home
Best Outdoor Living Area ($30,001 – $50,000), Private Residence Custom Home
Best Use of Custom Wood Under ($30,000), Magnolia Model Home
Best Use of Custom Wood ($30,001 – $50,000), Private Residence Custom Home
Best Flooring Over ($50,000), Custom Home
Best Flooring Over ($50,000), Magnolia Model Home
Best Master Suite Under ($50,000), Custom Home
Best Master Suite ($50,001 – $100,000), Magnolia Model Home
Best Kitchen Design ($50,001 – $100,000), Custom Home
Best Kitchen Design Over ($100,000), Magnolia Model Home
Product Design of the Year-Single Family Homes ($3,500,000+), St. Kitts
Best Use of Custom Wood Above ($50,000), St. Kitts
Best Kitchen Design Above ($100,000), St. Kitts
Best Master Suite (Over $100K), Capistrano at Quail West
Best Use of Custom Wood (Over $50K), Capistrano at Quail West
Best Kitchen Design, Alessandra at Grey Oaks
Home and Design Cover & Feature Article